Laser cutting and engraving technology has become widely available and serves as one of the main tools in the arsenal of modern makers. Although almost everyone can afford such equipment, not everyone understands how it works and what it is intended for.
The purpose of this article is to briefly familiarize readers with the capabilities of the technology and share tips that may be useful to future owners of laser machines. The TS3 laser engraver from Two Trees will be used as an example.
Diving into the world of laser engraving may seem dauntingly challenging to some, but in practice, it is not at all the case. Even if you have never worked with CNC machines before, you will quickly understand laser engraving, as it is a simple, easy-to-learn process, and also allows you to create interesting things inexpensively.
What is a laser engraver?
As the name suggests, this is a machine for creating patterns and shapes through non-contact processing, the main component of which is a laser emitter that melts, or burns out, or evaporates the working material.
At its core, laser engraving and cutting are manufacturing processes that rely on the use of highly directional, monochromatic, coherent light to cut or engrave a given pattern. It is a non-contact thermal process ideal for working with a variety of materials containing:
In some cases, the process allows you to obtain high-precision parts without the use of additional tools or special equipment.
Laser machines are often conventionally divided into personal and professional in terms of the power of the emitters. The higher the power, the thicker the cut material can be, and usually, the most powerful machines remain the lot of professional users due to the higher cost, which depends on the power.
On the other hand, relatively low-power machines are quite suitable for amateur purposes, allowing you to work with:
By the type of emitters, laser engravers can be divided into two categories:
- carbon dioxide
- diode lasers
TS3 is a typical example of a diode laser machine, but with a closed working volume, which is why it is often mistaken for carbon dioxide.
Why do you need TS3?
TS3 laser machines allow you to apply almost any pattern to flat and cylindrical surfaces. Designed with safety and functionality in mind, these engravers are indispensable helpers in private and professional workshops.
Many engravers do not allow working with cylindrical surfaces or require the purchase of additional roller drives. In TS3, this feature is provided from the outset.
In addition, the closed design of the engraver helps to protect the components from mechanical damage. The TS3 is worth getting if only because it is a simple and easy-to-use machine that will suit most people.
What materials can be used with the TS3 laser engraver?
In terms of engraving, the system is suitable for a wide variety of materials including:
- stainless steel
- and a variety of paints and oxides.
TS3 is also suitable for cutting plywood, pine planks, leather, acrylic, and cardboard.
For example, with the help of an engraver, you can make various wooden puzzles and paper figures or decorations, as well as mark collars, keyrings, or wallets.
Picture Credit: Pexels